At least 38 people have died in Vancouver care home COVID-19 outbreak

Jan 5 2021, 3:09 pm

A deadly COVID-19 outbreak at Little Mountain Place care home in Vancouver has infected 167 individuals and killed 38 of them, and questions are swirling about how the situation got so bad.

Those case numbers are up to date as of December 29, according to a Vancouver Coastal Health statement. Residents have made up 98 of the infections, and there have been 69 staff cases since the outbreak was declared in November.

The facility contains 117 single rooms for residents, and it appears the majority of them became infected.

“VCH recognizes the concern families have when a COVID-19 outbreak is declared, and we want to reassure families that the health and safety of residents and staff in long-term care homes remains an utmost priority,” it said.

“Circumstances of each outbreak are different and can evolve quickly. Our immediate priority is to connect with families first regarding circumstances at the facility.”

The health authority added all eligible residents and most staff at Little Mountain Place have received their COVID-19 vaccine.

“There’s no one simple thing about why it spreads so rapidly in some places versus others,” Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said at her Monday briefing as she faced questions from several reporters about the East Vancouver care home.

She added the outbreak has been very challenging for healthcare staff to deal with, and she believes the home is making efforts to keep family members updated.

The home has pulled from a pool of staff meant to help long-term care facilities facing pandemic-related staffing shortages, Henry said. She added other outbreak protocol include rapid testing, enhanced cleaning, and bringing in leadership from the local health authority.

“I wish we knew the answers to how it was being transmitted,” Henry said.